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Woodbury's Parks and Recreation Department will be offering Art in the Park during the summer. As part of the program, students learn about and create art in Woodbury's parks.

Painting with the masters in Woodbury's parks

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Grab a paintbrush, some crayons and head to your neighborhood park because Art in the Park is back.

For the second year Woodbury's Parks and Recreation Department will be bringing a weekly program to Woodbury's parks to offer children the chance to produce some artwork while enjoying the outdoors.

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Art in the Park begins July 11.

"This is just something different than what you think of as a parks and rec program," Recreation Specialist Ann Ringgold said. "It's not your typical arts and crafts kind of art, but it's in the park."

Last year's program drew nearly 1,200 students.

"I've heard from a lot of people that they were so excited that this was back again," Ringgold said.

The program is open to children ages 4 to 10.

"It's really great to see the children's imaginations," said Clarissa Odin, who teaches the Art in the Park classes with her sister Isabella.

Each session includes three classes, 45 minutes each.

Which session people sign up for is dependent on which park it is at and which day and time it meets.

"A lot of the stuff is how it fits into their schedule," Ringgold said. "The hard part is trying to find out the best time to have some of these classes."

Registration is $15 per session. Sessions are open to both children and their parents.

"It's a really fun thing that children and parents can do together," Isabella Odin said.

This year's Art in the Park is different from last year's in that it now is a fee-based class. Last year the Parks and Recreation Department was able to partner with the Washington County Library for access to Legacy funds.

This year that wasn't a possibility.

"I understand, they are spending it in different ways this year," Ringgold said. "It's always nice to have inexpensive or free programs for kids, but at least we are able to still do it."

Last year's Art in the Park carried a Minnesota history theme throughout the program. This year the theme is famous artists.

The first part of the class will focus on the artist's life, contribution to the art world and their technique. The second part of the class has students creating artwork inspired by the week's artist.

"We thought it would be really neat to teach kids about the masters because I've always enjoyed researching them and their techniques," Clarissa Odin said.

The first week will focus on Leonardo da Vinci and will have students creating pencil and charcoal drawings as well and learning techniques for drawing faces and self portraits.

"We're going to start really basic and kind of get them started," Clarissa Odin said.

The second week will focus on Georges-Pierre Seurat and will have students learning about color combinations before creating a Pointillism picture, which is a picture made up of dots of differing colors.

The third week will have students studying Georgia O'Keefe while using watercolor, studying brush technique and creating still life paintings.

"We're going to use the outside surroundings to create art," Isabella Odin said.

Ringgold said she hopes students will enjoy learning about some of history's most famous artists.

"We're going to be doing high-brow art in a park setting," Ringgold said. "It's something much different than they're used to."

Art in the Park meets:

-Ojibway Park: July 11, 18 and 25 at 1 p.m.

-Powers Lake Park: July 11, 18 and 25 at 2:45 p.m.

-Central Park Patio: July 13, 20 and 27 at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m.

-Stonemill Farms North: July 22, 29 and Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m.

-Chippewa Park Shelter: Aug. 1, 8 and 15 at 1 p.m.

-Powers Lake Park Shelter: Aug. 1, 8 and 15 at 2:45 p.m.

-Central Park Patio: Aug. 3, 10 and 17 at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m.

Registration is $15 per session. To register visit www.ci.woodbury.mn.us and click on the recreation tab.

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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